True Skate Soilder R.I.P.

The popular owner of a skateboarding shop in Malden was gunned down in the street yesterday afternoon, witnesses and authorities said.

Shawn Clark, 39, a Marine Corps veteran and father of two children, was shot multiple times in front Patriot Skateboards on Main Street at about 12:44 p.m.

Ash Patel, 35, who owns a convenience store next door, said he had just pulled up when he heard what he later realized were two gunshots.

“It was so early in the day they didn’t register as that,” he said.

Then he saw two men running down the street and noticed a disturbance in front of the skateboard shop. He said he walked over and saw Clark on the ground.

“He’s a good guy. Always happy-go-lucky,” he said. “I can’t believe he’s gone. Just like that.”

Clark was lying on his side, and his co-workers from the skateboard shop and workers from a barber shop next door were gathered around tending to him. Patel said someone had laid a blue cover over Clark while they waited for an ambulance. Patel said Clark was alive but not talking.

He said his own store has been robbed in the past, but he never suspected that a skateboard shop would be hit. Clark, 39, of Saugus, was pronounced dead at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital.

A woman who rushed to the crime scene outside of the shop and told police she was Clark’s aunt said he was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a father of two children. On Clark’s Facebook page, Clark’s friends talked about serving in Haditha, a city in Iraq.

“He was a wonderful man and a wonderful father,” she said before breaking down and declining further comment.

Broderick Gumpright, co-owner of Orchard Skateshop in Allston, said Clark was well respected in the Boston skate scene. “He was passionate about skateboarding and turned that into a skate shop to pass on his love to others,” Gumpright said.

The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, which is investigating the murder, did not release information about suspects or a motive.